Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when pelvic structures, such as the bladder, uterus, or rectum, bulge or protrude into the vaginal wall. This often results in pressure, discomfort and even vaginal pain. 

common symptoms of prolapse

  • A bulge or lump in the vagina
  • Pulling or stretching feeling in the lower groin area
  • Difficult or painful intercourse
  • Vaginal pain, pressure, irregular bleeding or spotting
  • Frequent need to urinate (OAB)
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder
  • Difficulty emptying bowels
  • A feeling that the bladder is not emptying completely (SUI)
  • Delayed or slow urine stream

what causes prolapse

Prolapse is caused by pelvic muscles and ligaments that have been weakened or damaged over time. 

The most common causes of prolapse are:

  • Age
  • Childbirth
  • Hysterectomy and other pelvic surgeries
  • Menopause
  • Obesity
  • Strenuous physical activity
  • Family history

types of prolapse

  1. Cystocele - This is a prolapse of the front wall of the vagina that often results in the bladder prolapsing into the vagina. Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is a common symptom of a cystocele. 
  2. Rectocele - This involves a prolapse of the back wall of the vagina. As a result, the rectal wall pushes against the vaginal wall, creating a bulge. 
  3. Enterocele - When the front and back walls of the vagina separate, the intestines push against the vaginal skin. An enterocele usually occurs following a hysterectomy. 
  4. Prolapsed Uterus - The weakening of a group of ligaments at the top of the vagina cause the uterus to prolapse into the vagina. 
  5. Vaginal Vault Prolapse - The top of the vagina falls toward the vaginal opening. This type of prolapse may occur following a hysterectomy. 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or have been diagnosed with a type of prolapse contact your WISH clinician, and they will create a treatment plan designed specifically for you. 

*This information does not replace a provider consultation. You should schedule an appointment with your provider if you experience any of these symptoms.


The Women's Institute is a division of Urology Associates, P.C. We are committed to the innovation and the integration of advanced technology and advanced therapeutics in our treatment offerings.

We are the first practice to open a center solely dedicated to female urology in Nashville, and we strive to provide the best care possible to our patients.

The WISH clinic was founded on the principles of compassionate, high quality care and continues to serve that mission.